A new initiative to bring the benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) to more industries and to establish the UK as a world leader in the field, has been launched by AM UK.
AM UK is an independent, government-backed collaboration, which has been at the forefront of developing additive manufacturing technology for wider application across industry sectors.
AM UK’s new national strategy will bring together industry, academia, government and finance bodies to provide a single ‘go-to’ place to access independent information and latest research, which will help support the strategy’s development, dissemination and implementation.
Additive manufacturing expert, Dr Paul Unwin, has been appointed as chairman of AM UK to drive this mission and ensure the UK maximises from the great potential of this ground-breaking technology for its industries.
Often referred to as 3D printing, additive manufacturing is a truly transformational cross-sectoral technology that is having a disruptive impact on design and manufacturing; and on company location and business models.
Paul Unwin explains: “The UK is among the global leaders in knowledge and successful application of additive manufacturing and AM UK has been at the forefront of developing its vast capabilities.
“AM has the potential to transform how and where manufacturing is done across a wide range of industrial sectors and global markets. It enables us to do things with devices that have never been done before; beyond the early adopters such as aerospace, automotive and defence, which have seen the biggest impact.
“The UK currently only captures 5% share of a worldwide market that was worth £3.59bn in 2015. As this global market grows, it is vital that the UK gains ground. With this technology at a point where it can really take off, the opportunities for commercial gain are out there.
“It is estimated that the UK can win up to 8% or £5bn of this rapidly growing global market, forecast to reach £69bn by 2025. This will have a strong effect on protecting existing jobs (60,000 by 2020) while also generating new employment.
“The new AM UK National Strategy aims to provide a means for achieving increased global market share and believes that AM will see exponential growth as the barriers are overcome.
“The UK is well placed to take full advantage of this rapidly expanding market. We are already at the forefront of the advancements in AM and already a global force in advanced materials, technology, life sciences and high value manufacturing.”